Earlier this month, PolitiStick reported on Seattle’s expected passing of a so-called “gun violence tax” that would burden law-abiding citizens with an added charge on all firearm purchases and all ammo purchases.
Now, the NRA and other Second Amendment organizations have stepped-in to help defend citizens from the tyrannical city government.
The city government passed a “gun violence” tax that would assess an additional tax of $25 for all gun purchases and $.05 per round of ammo purchased.
The anti-Second Amendment package also places a burden on law-abiding gun owners to demand that they report any stolen or lost firearms within 24 hours.
Citing the $12 million in taxpayer money spent on hospital care for gunshot victims last year, Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, sponsor of the legislation, claimed it was right to “ask the gun industry to chip in and help defray those costs.”
Beyond being simply unfair, such a provision is punitive in nature and flagrantly illegal. Just as it is unconstitutional to require one to pay a fee to exercise his right to vote, it is unconstitutional for one to be required to pay a fee for his right to exercise his Second Amendment rights.
In truth, the federal background check is flagrantly unconstitutional, but gun rights advocates are wise to take this war one battle at a time.
Further, unlike the background check, it can clearly be seen that by assessing such a hefty fee for the use of one’s God-given right is, by its nature, a device conceived to deter the exercising of this human right.
In a joint legal action, a complaint was filed this week in King County Superior Court by the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Also included in the suit were two gun owners and two gun shops.
“The ordinance serves only as a piece of propaganda, because the ordinance’s mandates are legally unenforceable,” the lawsuit alleges. “The state of Washington has the exclusive right to regulate the sale of firearms in Washington, and cities may not enact local laws or regulations related to the sale of firearms.”
The suit is likely to emerge victorious as gun rights organizations have defeated Seattle’s attempts at imposing arbitrary anti-Second Amendment legislation in the past by citing the state’s preemption statute that puts the power to create laws regarding gun rights in the hands of state lawmakers, not city officials.
City Council President Tim Burgess, who proposed the legislation, attempted to defend the anti-Second Amendment legislation as a function of the city’s taxing powers.
“The NRA does this all across the country whenever they feel that anyone is trying to regulate firearms, and that’s not what we’re doing here,” Burgess said. “We’re using the city’s taxing authority, which is granted to us by the Washington Constitution and the Legislature.”
“We took a simple and commonsense measure to support gun safety research and prevention methods,” he added. “It’s not in any way an attempt to regulate the sale, use or possession of firearms.”
Taxes are fine; however, when such taxes are used a cudgel to dissuade people from exercising their rights, they are unconstitutional.
That is why we no longer have a poll tax.